Q: What was the single best meal of 2014?
JoAnna Haugen, Las Vegas contributing editor, Travel Weekly: We did the chef's choice menu at Nobu and it was spot on. I didn't think I liked sashimi, but the Nobu staff totally changed my mind.
Mitchell Wilburn, VegasChatter: Twist's fall tasting menu. Like always, everything was inspiring, creative, and absolutely decadent.
Bob Barnes, Editorial Director of The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional,
Las Vegas Reporter for Gayot and Regional Correspondent for Celebrator Beer News: Portofino at The Mirage—Seeing how Chef Michael LaPlaca gives old school Italian a modern twist using innovative touches, such as chicken Parmesan composed of chicken breast stuffed with homemade sausage from chicken leg and thigh meat;pork belly spaghetti carbonara that has no cream or butter but obtains its richness through organic egg yolks, pasta water and Parmesan;crab cake arancini—a hybrid rice ball/crab cake with lemon saffron risotto and pesto aioli; enjoying all six of Chef’s made by hand in-house pasta dishes, including one he even invented himself, ripatelli; and watching how GM/Sommelier Chris Zadie and Chef LaPlaca make it a point to interact with guests.
Michael G. Uzmann, Doctor, Blogger, Wandering Diner: Nationwide – Saison. Las Vegas – Carnevino
Scott Roeben, Vital Vegas: That honor has to go to Giada at the Cromwell. She and the culinary team at Caesars are doing an amazing job. There are individual dishes I like more and have more often (ahem, the ice cream sandwiches at Umami Burger at SLS), but as an overall meal, Giada is an exceptional dining experience.
Robin Leach, gossip columnist for the Las Vegas Sun: THE ULTIMO GRAND BANQUET AT THE VENETIAN, THANKSGIVING AT MARCHE BACCHUS AND GIADA'S TASTING MENU.
Don Chareunsy, Senior Editor, Arts + Entertainment, Las Vegas Sun: So many good meals in 2014 at old and new restaurants, but Matthias Merges’ Yusho at Monte Carlo was the standout. Inventive, savory and delicious. Honorable mention: A Hawaiian fish feast at David Walzog’s Lakeside in Wynn Las Vegas.
Brock Radke, food and drink editor for Las Vegas Weekly: I have a terrible memory. Probably my second shot at Bazaar Meat, because my friends and I just decided to eat as many strange things as we could and it was fantastic. There is food there that is really difficult to describe. It's its own thing. Bazaar and Kabuto are the only restaurants in Vegas that are alone in their category.
Jim Begley, freelance food and drink writer for Las Vegas Weekly, Desert Companion, Las Vegas Magazine and sundry publications: Either my dinner at NEXT in Chicago during the restaurant’s Modern Chinese Cuisine swing or the epic meal at NYC’s WD-50 during the final month of its storied existence. Both were infinitely memorable.
Louis Hirsch, Foodservice Designer for JEM WEST, former GM of First Food & Bar and writer for Vegas Burger Blog and the upcoming Vegas Reuben Blog: It's my recent dinner at David Clawson, because I can't stop talking about it, and the anticipation of returning (and hoping it's not too packed) to try the crab cake and noodle and the adjoined pairings outweighs every other option. It's worth an extra ten minutes of driving. Silver Medals to Sporting Life Bar & Chef Dan for surprising the crap out of me with really good food in a gaming bar, and never letting up all football season, as well as the Frenchie Burger at DB which reminded me of the great burgers at the short-lived Rattlecan. Bronze goes to Los Compadres 2 for the Cabeza tacos which makes you think you are drunk eating, but it's noon and they're just that good and melting.
Amelinda B Lee, photographer for Eater Vegas: The lunch prie fixe at DB Brasserie with its fantastic Short Rib Tagliatelle at the helm.
Susan Stapleton, editor of Eater Vegas: Every dish from David Clawson Restaurant was on point. The interesting flavors at Japanese Cuisine by Omae stand out. Anything at Yusho. The white truffle menu at Le Cirque.